Houston Mayor Bill White has announced the three winning ideas from the Recycle Ike contest for new ways to recycle green debris and keep it out of landfills.
The top three winning ideas were:
- First Place: Biochar
- Team: Rice University group led by Bill Hockaday
- Second Place: Bioreactor Sand Pits
- Team: Samuel Weaver
- Third Place: Houston Farm Corps
- Team: Ian Ragsdale
Biochar is a charcoal produced from biomass.
The city ran the contest to develop ways to deal with the more than five million cubic yards of green debris resulting from Hurricane Ike.
“We need to keep this waste out of our landfills and coming up with new markets for recycling green material is good for our region, both environmentally and economically” White said. “I am impressed with the caliber of ideas coming from the Recycle Ike contest.”
Some 208 proposals were submitted to the online contest from six different countries and 33 different states. Five judges from the private and public sector included a successful renewable energy entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, a green material recycler, a climate change expert, and the city’s sustainability director.
The top ideas were selected based on originality, practicality, and sustainability.
The sponsor for the Recycle Ike contest is Living Earth, a local mulching and green debris recycling company.
The first place team will receive $10,000, the second place team will receive $5,000, and the third place team will receive $2,500.